Photo of St. Paul Subterranean River, Palawan Philippines by Storm Crypt
What is Eco Tourism and how does it different from regular travel?
Obviously the “eco” part of the phrase gives you a clue that the trip will be focused on traveling to places that allow you to enjoy the planet. But it is much more than that.
According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990).
This means traveling with the least possible environmental impact, and visiting places where you can enjoy yourself in an ethical, sustainable way. Believe it or not, there are a lot of amazing options for eco-tourists which do not include living in a tent and going without a shower for two weeks.
Every continent has options for individuals looking to explore without leaving a huge footprint. The focus on eco-tourism is often as much about experiencing local culture as it is getting a spa treatment.
Ecotourism is growing more rapidly than any other aspect of the tourism industry with an annual growth rate of 5%. Those who love to explore the planet are absolutely thrilled at the prospect of being able to do so without destroying it at the same time. Here are some excellent resources for learning more about eco-tourism:
The Nature Conservancy’s Eco Tourism Page